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 Today (or tomorrow) I take the Linux plunge....

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JMRazor
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

After two decades of M$ loyalty (with only a brief Mac dalliance), I am dropping out and preparing to install Kubuntu 7.10.

My old computer disk drive was making grinding noise so I configured and bought a new one from cyberpowerpc and it is due to arrive today. The thing has way more power and memory than I'll ever need, but I don't like to buy computers more often than once ever 5-6 years, so I need it to last. The computer is coming OS-free (only a formatted HD).

I've never done a thing with Linux other than watch a few of my friends who have had it use theirs.

Any suggestions on how to get started are much appreciated. If you have a viable reason why Kubuntu is not a good choice, I am open to suggestions, but based on some research I've done, I thought it a good match for me.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Not to deter you from using Linux, but you can use both if you want (dual boot). Many Linux distros now let you use the CD to try it live, without installing it on your pc. Also, you have the option of running MS Virtual PC (free) to run any operating system in a virtual enviroment, which is also a good way to try stuff that may have a virus in it and it keeps it seperate fro your regular pc.

One thing to note, is to be careful of your video card. I don't know if I'm a total Linux newb and a regular could easily do it, but I had Linux installed as a dual boot on my pc w/ XP. It worked fine while I had an Nvidia 6200 video card. Now that I put my Nvidia 8800GTS in there, only XP will work. I think it has something to do w/ drivers, but don't know how to fix it in Linux. Figures, I was starting to like using Linux for everything other than hardcore gaming too. Confused

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've had a couple of dalliances with Linux. I could not get my broadband modem to work though, no matter what I tried.
It's supposed to be easy, but I had to give up and go back to M$ for the sake of my sanity.

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JMRazor
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well, I always have my old XP to fall back on if things don't work. I'm trying to avoid Vista for now.

My computer will have the GEFORCE 8600GT. I may have download a driver is my understanding...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I like Kubuntu for it's ease of installation. If, after installation, you go to http://www.getautomatix.com/ you can install heaps of other stuff in one go to give you a fully useable system.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Windypops: I assume that's a USB ADSL modem you couldn't get to work?

Ditch it and spend some money on a decent ADSL router (one with a built in 4 port switch and wireless shouldn't cost more that 80 Euros), and connect that to your computer with an ethernet cable. Always works, independent from your OS, and you can share the connection with other PCs in the house (or with wireless, outside the house too).

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^ Thanks Wokabo, You're right.
I'll look into that. I have asked here about this before. Someone even offered to write a driver specifically for my modem to get it going on Linux. That sounds like an easier way, and I've been thinking about wireless as I can use my spare laptop on the net at the same time as my desk top.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

In that case, don't hesitate, those 50 pounds will be well spent (or less if you want to venture a visit to eBay). A DSL or cable router separated from your PC is faster, more reliable, safer (most come with a limited firewall or at least NAT) and easier.

Just hook it up, access the built-in web admin page (change the default passwords for increased security!), start the setup wizard and you're up and running in no time.

It doesn't really matter which one you buy, D-LINK, Linksys, USRobotics, Philips, they're all good.



@JMRazor: sorry to hijack your thread, good luck with your new compy (and OS) !

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wireless networking is awesome. I set up a fairly decent network here a little over a year ago. We're all Microsoft lovers, but regardless of what OS/setup you use, it's nice to be able to take the notebook around the house. Especially on days like today, when it's warmer here in the kitchen than it is in my room. Smile

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

JMR - good luck with your plunge. i hear Kubuntu is pretty easy to use. I've been playing around with Puppy Linux myself, and i really like it so far. If Kubuntu is not for you, give puppy a try. It has a live cd, and can be installed to hard drive or flash drive, too. It has a package manager installer for software. The documentation and support on the forum is excellent. They have tutorials, too. Users have made custom versions of puppy, too. Good luck with your changeover.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

wokabo wrote:
@JMRazor: sorry to hijack your thread, good luck with your new compy (and OS) !


From my experience you've probably saved JMR a lot of trouble if he takes that same good advice. Wink
Let me know how you get on with the transition JM. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah, it's going to be an interesting next few nights....

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Old No. 7
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've just finished downloading the Ubuntu 7.10 image to my desktop - 700MB Shocked - it took about 3 hours at my pathetic broadband speed.

Need to make a disc so I can try it on my spare Dell C840 laptop.

I thought about Kubuntu, but thought I'd go with the basic flavor, especially as it uses Firefox.

You'll have to let me know how you get on.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@JMR

Good luck. Moving to (K)ubuntu is an excellent move. My only caveat would be if you are a gamer. Linux isn't so hot on that particular topic. The forum at www.ubuntuforums.org is excellent!

I have just checked the forum re your video card - not good news I am afraid Crying or Very sad

try running the live CD first and see how well all of your software is supported.

@windypops

Ebuyer have a load of ASDL modem/routers for under 30 quid. I have been running a very cheap Safecom one continuously for the last three years without a single problem.

@Slaphappy
Puppy is an excellent distro ( especially if you have an older PC) but IMHO maybe a little too much for a Linux virgin like JMR

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JMRazor
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

MM -- I'm seeing mixed messages on that graphics card and Ubuntu 7.10. I may have to revert to XP -- we'll see how things go. This would suck however. Crying or Very sad

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I still like Mandriva.

Everything you could need comes with the install disk. AFAIK. Or most. I haven't installed the newest version yet. That will be in a few days as I just got a new dell xps and after I test out vista I will install Mandriva. I have the nVidia 8600 and I think Mandriva has the drivers for it but I'm not sure. Either way installing drivers is easy; for me anyway, but I always recompile the kernel to save boot time and memory so I am use to it. You just commplie the driver and insert the file into the video driver directory. Then type "modprobe newdrivername".

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@DrWho: If you like compiling stuff you might want to try LFS. Wink

@JMR: I think (K)Ubuntu is quite a good choice. As I have pointed out in the thread previously known as "Why MS really sucks" it is one of the most popular distros today, and probably the easiest to use. There are points about it though which I don't really like and are reason for me to stick with Fedora (among other reasons that make me want to use Fedora), but if you need support for DVDs, MP3s and stuff like that (restricted formats) you'll find that (K)Ubuntu is the right choice for you.

I'm planning to turn an older PC into a MediaCenter, and there I plan to use Kubuntu, together with LinuxMCE. Fedora doesn't include support for restricted formats (you can still add it, but I don't think that would be anything a Linux-newcomer would want to do), so it's disqualified for that task.

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Old No. 7
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well I haven't actually fully taken the plunge yet, but I'm typing this in Firefox running in Ubuntu on my old Dell C840 laptop, having booted from the Ubuntu 7.10 bootable CD I created from the image I downloaded.

And everything seems to work! It told me my battery was fully charged during the boot, the screen looks good with no funny sizes or settings less than optimal on the SVGA,I started typing and using the touchpad, then plugged in a USB mouse, which just worked, so I plugged in an ethernet cable and plugged the other end into my Netgear router, opened Firefox and suddenly I was surfing the 'net.

I have a word processor and spreadsheet that look OK (but will require some playing with after going AmiPro>WordPro>MSWord and somethingIforget>somethingelsewithboxes>123>Excel). Looking through the pull-downs, I've got Gimp and a movie player - in fact everything I need to do most anything

All very impressive, and it's good to be able to check what works before taking the plunge.

The Dell is not WiFi enabled, so I need to try my USB Netgear wireless dongle (and I'd be amazed if Ubuntu has a driver for that out of the box - but I'll bet I can get one from Netgear) although that's not a must-have as I've got the ethernet.

I'll also need to try networking with my new desktop PC running XP to see if I can share printers etc. and use it's internet connection. But I may do this after a full installation of Ubuntu.

Next step is to wipe and format the hard drive as XP has been on since 2001, had lots of stuff installed/uninstalled and was starting to get a little flaky. I was starting to get corrupted files and had had a major ChkDsk event at a boot, with loads of cross-linked files, etc that scannow-sfc only partly fixed. Then do a clean install of Ubuntu.

But all in all, for a free suite of OS and apps, I'm impressed so far. The laptop is running quite quickly, despite having the OS on CD and in RAM, so I guess it'll be even better with it on the HDD.

You techhies will probably not be surprised, but I was sort-of expecting something like W3.1 Rolling Eyes

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Ivor Grimey Colon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Old No. 7 wrote:
I thought about Kubuntu, but thought I'd go with the basic flavor, especially as it uses Firefox.
Just FYI, you can just as easily use Firefox on Kubuntu as well. I'm not sure if it install it by defualt, but It's just a case of firing up the package manager and telling it to install, as with any other program.

JMRazor wrote:
My computer will have the GEFORCE 8600GT. I may have download a driver is my understanding...
You'll have the open source nvidia driver installed by default. This will provide you with all the graphics you need for standard desktop stuff, but not 3D. If you need 3D graphics (e.g. if you're going to be playing OpenGL-based games or using snazzy composite desktop effects), then (K)Ubuntu will prompt you to install the proprietary driver from a little icon the the system tray.
I had a problem with this driver initially causing random freezes on my system. If you experience this, fire up Adept Manager (on Kubuntu) or Synaptic Package Manager (on Ubuntu) and find the package called "nvidia-glx-new". Uninstall this and instead install "nvidia-glx", and this should fix your problem.

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JMRazor
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the advice and well wishes, but I'm afraid I've encountered a problem.

I hooked up the computer last night and ran the live CD of Kubuntu 7.10 and it worked like a charm off the CD. The computer was really wicked fast. I then ran the install and again, everything seemed fine.

So after install, I rebooted. It started the GRUB, got to level 1.5, then said simply: "Error 2". And there it sat with a black screen, doing nothing apparently.

Soooo, I re-installed, and again, rebooted, and again, same error.

To be clear, this is an absolutely clean HD (well, I have two actually). Here are the specs:


Quote:

Here is my hardware set-up:

AMD X2 6000 AM2 CPU RETAIL
2 160GB SATA-II 3GB/S 8MB 7200RPM HD
1G DDR2 PC6400 MEMORY
CM HYPER TX2 GAMING CPU COOLING FAN
BLACK LG 20X DVDRW
BLACK SONY 16X DVD
12-IN-ONE INTERNAL CARD READER
RAID-0 STRIPING
ASUS M2N-E SLI AM2 NFORCE 500
COOLERMASTER 600WATT EXTREME POWER
CREATIVE LABS AUDIGY SE BULK
GEFORCE 8600GT 512MB PCI-E


Thoughts anyone?? (I've also posted for help on a Linux support board).

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Ivor Grimey Colon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This thread discusses your problem, apparently it's down to your BIOS not seeing the disks correctly, so when GRUB looks for them it can't find the file it needs to boot (error 2 is essentially "file not found"). You'll probably need to edit your BIOS configuration to make sure the disks are detected correctly (how to do this differs between machines, a good place to start is your motherboard's manual).

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@JMRazor Puppy will work with your 8600GT. just FYI
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?search_id=1369253890&t=24623

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JMRazor
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Ivor -- thanks. I've seen some similar threads about. I will give this a go tonight.

@Slap -- that link no worky for me....

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

JMR- Slaps link is good for me as well!

good luck!

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JMRazor
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

ARGHGHGH! I'm starting to lose my patience.

I tried all the recommendations for adjusting BIOS to get rid of the error. Then I noticed in BIOS that neither of my hard drives were listed, both Master and Slave are shown as "none". I'm going to open the box tonight and see if there are any loose cables, etc.

If that fails, I'm going to send the computer back as there is obviously a problem with the hard drives. The computer works fine from the live CD, and indeed Kubuntu recognized the hard drives (and presumably, Kubuntu was installed onto my first hard drive), but it won't boot from the HD....*sigh*

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